Finding data on people's income before and after pandemic

Hello! I am new to all of this so I apologize for the dumb question. I am doing a research project on comparing peoples income before and after the pandemic happened. Preferably I want to extra data for low and high income earners and see the difference, but I first want to just be able to extract data from the year before the pandemic happened and then the year after. If anyone is able to help with the right variables it would be much appreciated.

Hi Frederick,

Sorry to hear that you’re having difficulties with the website. I hope I can help guide you through it and explain how to get your data.

My recommendation would be to use IPUMS CPS. The Census Bureau strongly advises against comparing results from the 2020 American Community Survey (ACS), which is available on IPUMS USA, with those from previous years. This video tutorial will guide you through the steps of creating your extract. You will first need to select your samples. The page automatically defaults you to a set of samples, but you should select to compare the 2020 and the 2021 ASEC. The ASEC is the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the CPS that is conducted every March and includes a larger sample than the basic monthly surveys. You also have the choice to switch at the top of the page between a cross-sectional and longitudinal sample. The longitudinal sample will be smaller since it only includes people who appeared in both ASEC years, but it will more easily allow you to restrict your analysis to the same people over time.

It sounds like the variables you’ll be most interested in adding to your extract are FTOTVAL (total family income), INCTOT (total personal income), and the components of income such as INCWAGE (wage & salary income) and INCINT (income from interest). This page lists all of the income variables that are available from the CPS. Once you’ve added your sample and variables, you can select to view your cart and create an extract. On the extract request page, you can choose different data formats to let you import your extract into Stata, R, SAS, SPSS, or Excel. Another option is to analyze the data online without needing to create an extract using our SDA tool. There, you will want to select the Means tab and make sure to filter by YEAR(2020-2021).

Please follow up if you encounter any questions or problems in getting your data.